Great Expectations

LEETONIA -- As concrete and steel come together here, excitement is building.
General Extrusions Inc. officials are hopeful the company's new 92,000-square-foot expansion plant in the Columbiana County Port Authority's World Trade Park will be operational by December, creating about 35 new jobs this year and about 65 within three years.
"People ask about the jobs every day," said Herb Schuler Sr., GEI president. "They're even taking r & eacute;sum & eacute;s out to the construction site. We're not nearly ready to begin the hiring process, though."
Schuler said the building is about 90 percent completed and some of the equipment is being shipped now.
High spirits: "We've actually seen some of the equipment," Schuler said. "Up until now everything's been only in drawings. The excitement level is getting pretty high, even at our plant here."
Schuler said the equipment for the new plant will be shipped in 40 to 50 containers. If all goes as planned, the shipments will be complete by October, then in November workers will begin to assemble the machines.
"It will be one giant jigsaw puzzle," Schuler said.
The plant expansion is the largest in GEI's history, Schuler said. GEI creates aluminum parts for various companies in the hydraulic, pneumatic, electronic and transportation industries.
GEI is the first tenant of the industrial park that contains 24 lots ranging in size from 2.5 to about 10 acres. GEI purchased four lots on the northwest side of the park, with an address of 1 Commerce Ave.

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